When it comes to hanging art, the dining room is probably not the first place that comes to mind.
Most people prioritize their living rooms and bedrooms—after all, you probably spend the bulk of your time in these spaces. But we’re here to make a case for decorating your dining room walls—which can make all the difference to the space!
Without a doubt, picking out dining room wall decor and art can feel like a challenge at first. What subject matter should you choose? Where should you hang art in your dining space? Should you go with one large piece or many smaller pieces?
While there are definitely practical details to consider, like the size of your space and the amount of empty wall space you have to work with, how you approach your dining room wall decor is ultimately up to you. For some guidance, we’ve rounded up 15 stylish ideas for decorating your dining room walls—from how to arrange your pieces to where best to hang art. Keep reading to find out more.
Just starting to furnish your dining space? Check out our essential guide to dining room furniture along with our top picks for dining room rugs. Or if you’re not sure you need an actual dining room, try these alternative uses for an empty dining room design.
1. Layer Art Along A Buffet
If you have a buffet or sideboard cabinet in your dining space, transform the surface into a showcase for art and objects.
Arrange artworks in varying sizes: Try leaning a few pieces and hanging some up on the wall behind the cabinet to add depth and dimension. This is a great option for those who have a lot of art but not the wall space for all of them, or for apartment renters who want a more casual look that doesn’t require too many holes for hanging.
2. Add A Single Oversized Piece
For spacious dining rooms or ones with high ceilings and long walls, hanging one large-scale artwork is the best way to create an instant focal point.
Consider an oversize painting with lots of color for a more classic dining room space, or opt for a graphic high-contrast piece that makes for a modern statement in a minimalist setting. The one rule of thumb here? The larger your dining room, the bigger the piece of art.
Need help finding the perfect work for your space? Check out our tips on how to choose art.
3. Double The Impact With Diptych Art
For a streamlined dining room display, hang a diptych—which is one artwork that spans across two canvases. It’s a stylish option for large dining room walls, which are often easier to fill with fewer, bigger art pieces rather than lots of small artworks.
Additionally, a diptych can be pretty versatile when it comes to how you hang them. You can pair them side by side for a cohesive look or hang them separately on opposite walls to create a more dynamic yet still balanced look that visually ties your dining room together.
4. Style Up A Gallery Wall
You can’t beat a classic gallery wall arranged around a subject or theme, or just curated from an eclectic selection of captivating artworks. If you can’t decide on a specific style or piece of dining room wall art, this is the best tried-and-true approach.
For those who already have a collection of prints or works, put them in different frames in varying sizes, which will provide more texture and depth when they’re hung together in a gallery wall arrangement. If you’re pulling together a lot of different pieces, lay them out on your floor and find a configuration that works for you first, and check out our tips on how to hang art.
5. Floating Shelves With Art
Install floating shelves to display art while also adding open storage. In a dining space, floating shelves can be a great way to both store and display dining essentials.
Opt for two long rows of shelving, which allows you to lean art and decorative pieces on the top shelf, while filling the bottom shelf ones that offer space for dinnerware, glasses, and other tableware. If you’re working with a small dining room and need storage that doesn’t take up any floor space, this is the perfect solution.
6. Open Up With Mirrors
An elegant alternative to art is to bring in an oversize statement mirror to function as dining room wall decor.
With a floor-to-ceiling mirror, choose one that suits your style and don’t be afraid to go tall and wide as long as it fits into your space. In a small dining room, a large mirror can help open up the room immensely by giving the illusion of more space while reflecting more light. However, this is not the most family-friendly option, so it’s not the best idea for dining rooms that are busy with young kids or pets every day.
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7. Show Off Unique Textured Walls
In a home where your dining room is surrounded with walls that have textured appeal, such as shiplap, brick, wood paneling, or even plaster, consider skipping art and wall decor altogether.
This is a great way to celebrate the interior architecture of your home by drawing focus to the unique textural details of your dining room walls. If you’re a minimalist, this is the perfect way to highlight your pared-down dining room furnishings through a contemporary clean-lined look.
8. Make It Pop With Wallpaper
A spectacular wallpaper not only adds color, pattern, texture, and bold impact to your dining room, but it will also serve as a stylish backdrop for your furniture.
Depending on the style of wallpaper you choose, you can easily tailor the look and feel of your overall space to a unique style—be it a stripe, ikat, colorful block print, or even something fanciful like chinoiserie. Just remember that wallpaper is definitely more of a commitment than art, so just be sure you’re ready to take the leap!
9. Display A Scenic Photograph
You can instantly change the mood and tone in your dining space with a large evocative photograph.
Whether black-and-white or sepia-toned, a large-scale landscape photograph or one depicting a panoramic exterior view functions as a window into another place. It can transport you from your dining space while adding a modern and personal touch. If you love taking your own photos, consider enlarging your favorite print, from your travels or everyday sightings, and turning it into a framed photo for your space.
10. Brighten Up With Sconces
A pair of wall sconces is both practical and aesthetically elegant in any dining room. They’ll provide a balanced, symmetrical look to your space while also adding a bit of mood lighting.
With sconces, the design and style you choose doesn’t necessarily have to go with your furniture or lighting. In fact, a pair of sconces that are slightly different from the rest of your decor can make for bold, sculptural focal points on your walls that truly stand out. Consider ones with shades for darker, moodier lighting, or go with styles with exposed bulbs for a brighter light.
11. Play Up Tall Plants
So plants aren’t necessarily wall decor, but a grouping of tall plants and greenery can make for a lush and lively backdrop in your dining space.
Lined up along a wall, tall plants and trees offer a vibrant dose of color, texture, and organic element unlike any art or wall decor. Not only do they bring a bit of brightness and life to your space, they also serve as sculptural accents which make for intriguing focal points that are spread out across your space. If you’re a plant lover, this is the perfect reason to bring in more!
12. A Sculptural Chandelier
Another way to work in style and intrigue without decorating your dining room walls is to hang a bold sculptural chandelier.
Like a piece of eye-catching artwork itself, a uniquely designed chandelier will center the focus in your dining space. It’s a great way to add instant, sophisticated impact by drawing the eye upwards, and it also makes for functional lighting for your entire space. It’s perfect if you prefer a minimalist look in your dining space but still want an captivating, artful focal point that doesn’t crowd up your walls.
An eclectic alternative to dining room wall art, an elegant woven hanging tapestry can lend a touch of softness as well as textural contrast.
Tapestries beautifully detailed works of art on their own. They come in a range of sizes, styles, colors, and shapes, so choose one that’s in keeping with your dining room furnishings. If your style leans boho or a tad rustic, a tapestry can be a great accent to pair with other patterns, colors, and textures.
14. Gather Some Wall Baskets
Think of wall baskets as the perfect a sculptural take on the gallery wall. Instead of captivating artworks, a grouping of wall baskets provides the same color and textural appeal but with added depth.
Wall baskets bring a natural decor element to your dining space. In a small dining room, you can hang one behind your dining table for a singular statement piece; or gather a few into a curated arrangement on a small strip of wall. You can even work in a hanging wall basket into your gallery wall of framed art to give it an eclectic look. They’re wonderfully versatile accents in that way.
15. Create A Mixed-Use Display
On the topic of eclectic gallery walls, consider combining different art and decor elements to create one that truly sets your dining room apart. Think a mix of large and small art pieces, wall sculptures and a floating shelf arrayed with accents and objects, and even a stunning chandelier to top it all off.
This is a great way to play up a look that’s a little more personal and reflects your varied tastes. Play up different art forms, like a mix of paintings and photos, and add favorite objects, like ceramics or mementos, to your console or shelf. The key is to get creative with a fun mix.
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